Although World Princess Week was a few months ago, the Ultimate Princess Celebration has continued–and one particularly distinct collaboration from said celebration is Disney’s partnership with ELLE magazine! During the Ultimate Princess Celebration, ELLE has been choosing real celebrities (including but not limited to actors, directors, athletes, or activists) and choosing them as ‘Disney princesses’. The honorees are women who exemplify the “courage and kindness” that Disney princesses are famous for, and so far the honorees have included actress Eva Longoria, ballerina Misty Copeland, and tennis player Naomi Osaka.
The first of the two ELLE Disney Princesses this month is Alyssa Carson, the aspiring astronaut who has been training for her dream career by “jumping out of airplanes and living underwater for over 24 hours”. Although she is only twenty years old, Alyssa has been dreaming about being an astronaut since she was little! “Mars is still kind of the ultimate goal, but I’m also not super picky,” Alyssa told ELLE. She has already been in the Project PoSSUM astronaut training program and is currently an astrobiology student at the Florida Institute of Technology.
Even though Alyssa isn’t an astronaut yet, she’s already been a positive influence in many people’s lives by promoting the study of STEM. “A while ago, I was talking to some middle school girls, and one girl was like, ‘Well, I like fashion and I also like space,’ and I was like, ‘You can make designer spacesuits!’ ” she recounted in ELLE’s interview. Even though Carson was a definite “space kid” growing up, she also had a love of Disney princesses (her bedroom was actually a “pink room with a Disney Princess border”). “For Halloween, I typically dressed up as Jasmine—I think I just liked her outfit the most,” Alyssa said when asked about her favorite Disney princess. “But I loved how they all had adventurous spirits and were pretty princesses at the same time.”
The second honoree this month is Chai Vasarhelyi, the director best known for her 2018 documentary Free Solo (which featured Alex Honnold’s free climb of El Capitan). The documentary (which she co-directed with her husband) actually won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature! Vasarhelyi and her husband’s next movie is called The Rescue and is about “the daring recovery of 12 boys and their soccer coach from the depths of a flooded cave in Thailand”. “People really rose to their best [in that emergency],” she told ELLE. “Because of the pandemic, people are asking all these questions about the intentionality of their life, like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ It’s a question that comes up in the film.” Despite being a busy director, Chai still takes time for family vacations to Disney World, and has declared that her daughter’s favorite Disney princess (and Chai’s favorite) is Mulan. “She’s not afraid to be who she wants to be, she’s not afraid to fight, and she’s very close to her family,” Vasarhelyi said to describe Mulan. “Plus, she looks like us.”
Have you been following along with the Ultimate Princess Celebration?